Mali is considered a high threat location for terrorism, especially in Mopti and north Segou. Terrorist groups have demonstrated the ability to conduct complex attacks and will target foreign visitors. Previous Modus Operandi (MO) has included Vehicle Borne IED (VBIED) attacks, grenade attacks and significant coordinated attacks across the region. Particularly vulnerable areas include public transport, restaurants and the general areas frequented by foreign travelers and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). It is very likely terrorist groups operating in the region have both the intent and capability to execute further attacks against foreign travelers if the opportunity arises.
Crime is prevalent throughout the country, including Bamako. Knife crime, robberies at gunpoint, car-jackings, and kidnappings are common. NGOs are commonly targeted for their vehicles which have also resulted in several NGOs being severely assaulted by criminal gangs. These gangs may disagree with westerner travelers having a presence in the region and are using intimidation tactics to inflict fear and show dominance.
Travel by road is very high risk. Road surface conditions are below the standard recognized by western travelers. Local drivers are known to travel at excessive speeds where road and vehicle conditions are unsafe. The majority of drivers are uninsured, unqualified and generally show little regard for road traffic safety. Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) are frequent and are a result of inadequate driver training, lack of road discipline and excessive speeding.
Public transportation is hazardous, vehicles are poorly maintained, and drivers are inadequately trained. These services are incredibly unreliable, overcrowded and have a high risk of having a breakdown mid-journey, increasing the risk to your personal security.